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How can I get cat urine odor out of clothing?


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Question: How can I get cat urine odor out of clothing?
Answer: The Rest of Your Question:
I just read your article on cats urinating outside the box, and would like to ask you how to get the smell out of clothes. It seems that my cat likes to mark my clothes whenever I leave them on a chair or on the floor (I am a bachelor and I get sloppy). I found one item at a pet store, but it seems to be able to remove only small spots of urine and the like. I need to know if there is an additive or cleaner with which I can wash the entire garment. Also if there is a dry cleaning solution for cat pee. He got a couple sweaters and dress pants too.

I have put together a series of resources for "Cleaning up the Mess," which has links to a number of articles and sources on the Cats Site as well as the Net for removing urine odor and stains. What you need are enzymatic cleaners, and they are readily available in pet stores and online. You should test the cleaner first on an inconspicuous place to make sure they don't fade the dye of the garment, but for the most part, I think they're pretty safe. My Top Picks page will give you an idea of which of these products may be used safely with detergent.

Also, since it is unclear whether your cat is spraying urine or simply urinating out of the box, which are two entirely different matters.

There is a product called "Feliway," which is pherome-based, and is said to be effective in discouraging spraying behavior. It's also widely available on the Net. Feliway comes in both a spray bottle and a Plug-In, which disperses the pherome throughout a room. It is colorless and odorless to humans.

For dry cleaning, your cleaner is probably your best source of information, as each fabric needs its own particular care.

I couldn't in good conscience finish this reply without mentioning the potential medical aspects of your dilemma. If he is urinating outside the box, there is always a possibility of a urinary tract problem causing pain that he associates with the box. If he is performing vertical spraying, i.e., backing up to the target and spraying urine, he could be reacting to stresses. In either case, a trip to the veterinarian is in order.

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